OZ Cabbie September 2015
At the time the Liberal Party’s Chief Whip Scott Buchholz announced Malcolm Turnbull was our new Prime Minister I was watching Q&A. The show was interrupted to show the momentous moment. I was so elated that the Mad Monk was gone that I jumped to my feet and clapped my little hands. Like most people I liked Turnbull. Only the first elections of Gough Whitlam and Kevin Rudd had excited me that much.
I had totally forgotten that Turnbull was once chairman of Goldman Sachs Australia, a branch of Goldman Sachs in the US, the merchant bank behind Uber. Reason to be nervous? Find out in “We are ruled by Morons” Part VI.
The true highlight of the month was of course the tremendously successful rallies simultaneously staged in front of Parliament House in Sydney, Melbourne and Brisbane on September 10. Fabulous effort by the organizers NSW Taxi Operators and Drivers Association, Victorian Taxi and Hire Car Families and Queensland Professional Hire Drivers Association. Full coverage in Rallies, blockades, court actions - whatever it takes ....
UberX however keeps on rolling regardless, stealing more and more fares from us to the point where it is starting to seriously hurt us financially. The governments are all talk and their enforcement officers utterly incompetent. As I wrote last month, unless we stop UberX before the start of summer, we are going to have a very tough start to the New Year. It is unlikely any state or territory government will make a decision on UberX this year and that whatever deal they end up will be totally unacceptable to the taxi industry.
There is only one way left to stop UberX in time and that’s in the Supreme Court of NSW on 6 October where Taxi Driver Action Inc is sponsoring Russell Howarth’s fight against Uber. However, it needs to raise money immediately for his legal representation. The question is: “How much is stopping UberX worth to you?” Please read the article Stopping UberX - what’s it worth to you? and think quickly but carefully. Your response could make the difference between having a bleak or a happy Christmas.
The rallies got the media’s attention, but the treats made at the time by various speakers of rolling strikes and blockades at airports and in the CBDs were what had Transport Ministers seriously rattled. So much so that they invited organizers in for a private chat. It worked. All further action, at least in Sydney and Melbourne, has been called off. Why? Check out the article in The day Andrew Constance gave the taxi industry a snow job.
As was reported last month, the court case against 24 Sydney UberX drivers by NSW Roads and Maritime Services was called off due to ‘evidentiary matters’. Apparently it was all too difficult for its officers to obtain evidence against these guys that would stand up in court. Also in An idiot’s guide to getting solid evidence against UberX drivers, we show why that is bullshit and explain how easy it is.
A report this month by consumer advocacy group Choice completely debunked the NSW Taxi Council’s recent advertising scare campaign “Ridesharing. It’s no safer than hitch-hiking”. Its investigation had found that UberX is as safe as taxis, but more reliable and cost effective. It seems the only defence the Council has when faced with competition is running scare campaigns. It did the same after taxi apps ingogo and goCatch were launched in 2011. That too was a waste of money.
There is some good news this month. Rob Katter MP has tabled a bill in the Queensland Parliament to have UberX drivers receive demerit points on top of the current fines. Sterling idea. More about that inside.
Until next time,